Reflections on a weekend of nosework, Part I

Lily and I recently attended two whole days of nosework; what fun we both had. My primary purpose in attending was to participate in an NW1 trial but on Saturday we had the opportunity to enter in the element speciality trial. For those of you who don’t know the element trials were designed to be shorter half days containing trial elements. The element trial was very fun I would encourage those of you who don’t want to do or a full trial yet to give the elements a try.

At any rate the elements can be containers, interiors, vehicles or exteriors. The main differences from a NW1 trial include: less time, no walk thru and the possibility of varied heights and containers. At the first element level their is one birch hide up to four feet. On a side note unlike NW1 if you don’t find all the hides you can earn a leg toward your title. 

The elements offered during weekend were a half day of containers and a half day of interiors. Going into this I had decided to use the day as practice for the NW1 trial the following day. My practice beforehand mainly focused on elevated containers since that was new for us, I decided to let everything else just fall into place and focus on the NW1 practice. The searches were spaced so that you did two searches returned to the car and then did two more. During the container search I learned that those 10 or so seconds at the start line really force you to survey the search area since you don’t get a walk thru. All the containers for the day were ground level and on leash searches. Lily had a blast and rocked the containers, one title down. Very exciting since I was just happy for the practice.

The next set of searches worked the same way for the afternoon we did two interiors and the went back to the car before completing the last two searches. The funniest moment for me was when Lily was momentarily distracted by some spectators and not working I used my hand to guide along with a check here to start her searching an object near us that happened to be a chair. She began to work and alerted. I was stunned but we got the hide. My other moment of panic was when Lily was searching some wooden folding chairs they rattled, I was concerned she would stop searching but she was a champ and kept going to find the hide. We found all four interiors hides to earn another title. A great way to end the day. My NW1 reflections will follow soon.

Does anyone have any nosework stories or questions to share?

© Abby Razer 2014